stone ships

jstor is a wonderful resource, but it’s also dangerous because you’ll start out reading articles related to your lit essay and then before you know it it’s 3am and you’ve wasted the whole night reading about the perceived threat of witchcraft towards fishing vessels in 18th century dorset

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Lindholm Høje, Denmark

Lindholm Høje (Lindholm Hills, from Old Norse haugr, hill or mound) is a major Viking burial site and former settlement situated to the north of and overlooking the city of Aalborg in Denmark.

The southern (lower) part of Lindholm Høje dates to 1000 – 1050 AD, the Viking Age, while the northern (higher) part is significantly earlier, dating back to the 5th century AD in the Nordic Iron Age. An unknown number of rocks have been removed from the site over the centuries, many, for example, being broken up in the 19th century for use in road construction.

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“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. She is beautiful.” -F Scott Fitzgerald

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The black one is full of fear and rage
She was the saddest child that Maester Cressen had ever known.

To Be Alone - A Moriel Fic

For @acotarshipweek  moriel week which was…sixteen centuries ago, I am aware, but the prompt came from there so credit where credit’s due. Speaking of credit, blessings upon my dearest, @pterodactylichexameter for betaing/general encouragement with this thing, ‘twas a pain at times. 

Title: To Be Alone 

Summary: moriel sin week prompt: secret rendezvous. Mor and Az find themselves alone in a quiet corner of Velaris, having been each told to meet someone important here, not knowing they were being set-up. Little does their High Lady know they’ve already been in a relationship for some months now. They decide to make the most of this time alone they’ve been given and slip off together to a nearby inn… 

Teaser: She hadn’t thought it possible – that she could want him more once he was hers but…From that first brush of his tongue against hers, that first taste of him, she had known that she would never belong to another heart again. She was his. She had always been his, really. As he had always been hers. She had known she would never want anyone else – and that she would never stop wanting him. 

Link: AO3

Mor sucks in a deep breath as she steps from the whisper of darkness winnowing always envelopes her in. It’s near sunset and the streets of Velaris are busy, full of people heading home for their evening meals before the city comes alive for true when night falls. She smiles politely and nods greetings to a few of those who meet her eyes but she doesn’t linger to chat with anyone this time. She’s already a little late for her appointment.

The crowds fortunately start to thin as she heads towards the quieter, more residential area of town near the river. It’s much less densely populated and a faint kiss of mist cools her flushed, warm skin as she emerges from the hot press of bodies. Through the shifting eddies of swirling white she sees the bridge over the Sidra she was asked to come to and hurries her steps when she dimly spots a solitary figure waiting for her – a column of shadow among the white river ghosts.

Mor is within spitting distance before she realises that the person waiting for her is not the one she had expected. Old instincts, sharpened by the recent war, have her reaching for her power, gathering it in her body, preparing to attack or defend- But a heartbeat later she recognises the person and her defences shatter on instinct.

Azriel stands with perfect stillness, leaning on the stone wall of the bridge a calm, tranquil expression upon his handsome features. He doesn’t turn towards her, shift his position at all, or give any other outward reaction to her presence. Mor isn’t fooled. He knows perfectly well that she’s there. For one thing she had seen the shadow curling around his ear moments earlier, informing him that she was – though Mor suspects he had known even before that. The damn male is impossible to sneak up on; unless he lets her, which is frankly just insulting.

Approaching him with long, easy strides, Mor mirrors his unconcerned posture, standing beside him and letting her gaze drift out over the Sidra as well, following his gaze. She manages a full, impressive, ten seconds before her restraint cracks. Az smiles thinly, fondly, as the words burst from her, interrupting the peaceful silence, “What are you doing here?”

At last Ariel tears his gaze away from the view in front of them to look down at her. His face softens as his eyes meet hers, the mask of cold composure that some, wrongly, assume is a permanent feature of her shadowsinger slips. His quiet affection shows through instead, that tender smile lingering on his lips. The shadows that twist around him thin then vanish, as though giving them privacy. Her belly swoops with the usual familiar pulse of pleasure and joy that he feels safe with her, safe enough to let his instinctive guard down.

Az’s voice is its typical dark, velvet calm when he answers her, “I was told to urgently meet an informant here and was advised that the meeting would be…” his lips curl into a tighter smile, his eyes tinged with obvious amusement as he looks her up and down, appreciating her even though she’s dressed rather simply, “Advantageous to me.”

“By?” Mor prompts him, eyebrows quirking up.

Az’s smile deepens before he answers, “Feyre.”

Mor looses a short burst of laughter at that. Theory confirmed. Az only widens his eyes quizzically, inviting her to explain her reacting.  

Composing herself enough to answer Mor drums her fingers thoughtfully on the top of the stone wall before she tells Az, through a broad grin, “Our esteemed High Lady asked me to meet her here at this time for something very important.” Her smirk broadens, now edged with wicked glee as she jostles Az playfully with her shoulder. “Seems like you’re ‘very important’, Az.”

As she had hoped this teases a faint flush of pink into his tan cheeks and her grin broadens in answer. Then his brow furrows and he clears  his throat and says, with a very good impression of his usual cool, analytical seriousness that’s only given away to her by how his hazel eyes glitter with merriment, “Looks like she thinks we should be spending some more quality time alone together. “

A soft shiver rustles through her as his gaze meets hers. Heat coils low in her stomach but she ignores it, pushing it down hard. Opting for airy amusement instead she says pointedly, “In a very romantic location.” She gestures around them, to the thin veil of mist enveloping them, adding an additional layer of intimacy to the meeting. The Sirda flows beneath them, gilded by the slowly setting sun, burning like liquid gold with diamonds peppering the smooth water, sparkling like stars.

Velaris is beautiful as it draws near to the night it so enjoys and it’s known, comfortable and familiar to both of them. The location is perfect – a little too perfect – and Feyre’s motives aren’t particularly difficult to guess at. Mor hopes Az never tries to recruit her for any further spying or subterfuge; if this is any indication she won’t get on well with it. Still…

She turns back to Az, her voice dropping, a hint of silk brushing through her words, “I’m not going to argue with her.”

Conversely to her hopeful expectations, Az’s frown only deepens into lines of uncertainty. “Do you think we should tell her?” he asks, his fingers trailing, apparently unconsciously, over the hand she has resting on the bridge.

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Marichat May - Kiss it Better

It’s super late, but I said I’d do it!

The moment I saw the prompt, I thought of the song Kiss it Better by He is We, which is a straight shot to the feels and I’d definitely recommend it as background music if you ever need to write an angsty scene.

TW: Blood and Character death. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. See the tags for more thoughts.

Paris lay in ruins.

Paris lay in ruins and Chat Noir was alone.

He had split away from Ladybug nearly ten minutes ago so she could recharge her kwami. The akuma, a vastly destructive force that went by the name of Dévastateur, had spent the better part of the past hour turning the streets to rubble and carving chunks out of buildings. Monuments were crushed beneath his power – and for once, Chat wondered if Hawkmoth regretted releasing a power like that into the world.

The akuma wasn’t anything special, really. He was granted power, great power, which gave him strength beyond imagination. It was his heart, however, that had darkened to a point that no mortal should ever near.

Chat didn’t know why the victim had turned so cold. He wasn’t sure he cared – not when Ladybug was still missing in action and Paris was a bona fide mess. But he did know that the damage wasn’t entirely Hawkmoth’s fault. No. This was personal on some level. The man beneath the mask wanted to tear the world apart on his own terms.

In Ladybug’s absence, Chat had reverted to a new plan – evacuating as many civilians as he could as quickly as he could. There were times for showy heroics, and there were times when all that mattered was preventing a bloodbath. This happened to be one of the latter.

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Mya’s eyes were her best feature, big and blue. She could be pretty, if she would dress up like a girl. Alayne found herself wondering whether Ser Lothor liked her best in her iron and leather, or dreamed of her gowned in lace and silk.